Johnathon Bush

(Australia 07 Oct 1974 – )


Pakapanali Yimanka Kapi Paluwiyanga

Not on display
Further information

Art centre documentation for this work states;

“This painting depicts the history that took place on the banks of Goose Creek. This is my country, this is where my ancestors rest. A long time ago my people had a village there in Goose Creek.

Joe Cooper a buffalo stockman came to raise buffalo on my country without my ancestors’ approval. He and his men set fire to the camp. Half of my family were killed. Only Bugabai, my Grandfather, my Grandmother and my uncle survived the fire. All the others passed away. When the village was burnt my family found that Milikapati had civilisation.

You can feel a presence at Goose Creek. Sometimes we call out to the creek and say we are home. Last time we didn’t call out, the boat tipped over in the middle of the creek – crocs and all.

This painting has an image of my Grandfather in the layers of the ochres red for the blood massacre, yellow for the earth we hunt from, white for the water we fish from. He is in between these traditional materials my ancestors have painted with for centuries. I started using charcoal to get away from the manmade black and white gesso. I used this charcoal to paint Bugabai in to this picture, but the ochres of the past cover him up so only his presence can be felt when I tell this story.

Goose Creek is my Father’s country, my Grandfather’s country. They are there but we can’t see them in this picture. We can only feel their presence when we visit.”

Place of origin
Melville Island, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural origin
Tiwi, Arnhem region
natural pigments and charcoal on canvas
153.0 x 200.0 cm
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors’ Group 2018
Accession number
© Johnathon Bush